Elisa Roller, EC DG Mare: “The landing obligation is for all fishermen to land unwanted catches, this enables us to avoid the discard problem.”
The catch of unwanted species – or discards – is a pervasive problem of world fisheries. Unwanted catches are returned dead to the sea in most cases, representing a wasteful use of natural resources.
On July 14 and 15 2016, fishermen, scientists, government representatives and NGOs gathered in Blanes, Spain, to share the progress made after the 1st year of MINOUW project. On this occasion, Elisa Roller, Head of unit; “Common Fisheries Policy and Aquaculture” from the EC DG MARE, reminded us the importance of the Landing Obligation.
How MINOUW is helping to address the problem
Given the current impossibility of completely avoiding unwanted catches, and the fact that Common Fisheries Policy will progressively phase out discards of commercial species subject to quota or minimum size (MCRS), MINOUW aims to support the landing obligations by devising technical/technological solutions, along with economic and social incentives, to gradually eliminate unwanted catches in European fisheries.
Developing practical solutions, increasing producers’ and consumers’ awareness, and placing greater economic value on discards-free fishing has the potential to considerably reduce unwanted catches, and bring about a more ecologically sound fishing regime.